Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS6305611 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/594,976
Publication dateOct 23, 2001
Filing dateJun 15, 2000
Priority dateJun 15, 2000
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2349686A1, CA2349686C
Publication number09594976, 594976, US 6305611 B1, US 6305611B1, US-B1-6305611, US6305611 B1, US6305611B1
InventorsJerry L. Proffitt, Raymond J. Archacki, Jr.
Original AssigneeCarrier Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Setback tracking thermostat
US 6305611 B1
Abstract
A thermostat receives requests to enter into setback modes of operation whereby at least one setpoint normally used by the thermostat is to be changed at a stipulated start time for each setback mode of operation. The thermostat is operative to enter into a requested setback mode of operation at a time following the requested start time in the event there has been a delay in receiving the request to enter into a setback mode of operation. The thermostat is furthermore operative to track the time that elapses during each setback mode of operation and to report the total accumulated time that has elapsed in response to a request to do so. The thermostat is furthermore operative to set the total accumulated time to zero in response to a request to initialize the total accumulated time.
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(15)
What is claimed is:
1. A process executable by a programmed processor within a thermostat for responding to requested setbacks of the setpoint control for the thermostat, said process comprising the steps of:
receiving a request to enter into a setback mode of operation, the request including information as to a start time for the setback mode of operation and information as to an end time for the setback mode of operation;
determining whether the present time of day is within the range of the start time and the end time for the requested setback mode of operation;
entering into a requested setback mode of operation whereby at least one setpoint used in a normal mode of operation is changed when the present time of day is within the range of the requested start time and the end time for the requested mode of operation;
noting when the setback mode of operation is terminated; and
computing the amount of time the thermostat participated in the requested setback mode of operation as a function of the time of day that the requested setback mode of operation was entered into and the time of day when the requested setback mode of operation is terminated.
2. The process of claim 1 wherein said information as to an end time is a period of time measured from the start time and wherein said step of determining whether the present time of day is within the range of the start time and the end time for the requested mode of operation comprises:
computing the end time relative to the start time by adding the period of time to the start time; and
determining whether the present time of day is within the range of the start time and the computed end time.
3. The process of claim 1 further comprising the step of:
constructing a record of the amount of time that the thermostat has participated in present and past setback modes of operation, the record including the amount of time the thermostat participated in the requested setback mode of operation and any previously requested setback modes of operation.
4. The process of claim 3 wherein said step of contracting a record of the amount of time that the thermostat has participated in present and past setback modes of operation comprises the steps of:
adding the computed amount of time the thermostat participated in the requested setback mode of operation to the sum of any previously computed amounts of time the thermostat participated in requested setback modes of operation so as to produce a total amount of accumulated time.
5. The process of claim 4 further comprising the step of:
responding to a request for the total accumulated time from a remotely located entity whereby the total accumulated time is transmitted to the remotely located entity.
6. The process of claim 5 further comprising the step of:
responding to a request to initialize the total accumulated time whereby the total accumulated time is set equal to zero.
7. The process of claim 6 further comprising the steps of:
reading the time of day following said step of responding to the request to initialize the total accumulated time in the event the thermostat is presently in a setback mode of operation;
noting when the setback mode of operation terminates; and
computing the amount of time the thermostat participated in the requested setback mode of operation following the noted termination of the setback mode of operation, the computed time being a function of the read time of day following said step of responding to the request to initialize and the time of day when the setback mode is terminated.
8. A thermostat having the capability to track the participation by the thermostat in requested setbacks of the setpoint control for the thermostat, said thermostat comprising:
a memory for storing information;
a processor operative to read and store information in said memory pertaining to a requested setback mode of operation, the information including information as to a start time for the setback mode of operation and information as to an end time for the setback mode of operation, said processor being operative to enter into a requested setback mode of operation whereby at least one setpoint used in a normal mode of operation is changed when the present time of day is within the range of the start time and the end time for the requested mode of operation, said processor being furthermore operative to compute the amount of time the thermostat participated in the requested setback mode of operation as a function of the time of day that the setback mode of operation was entered into and the time of day when the setback mode is terminated.
9. The thermostat of claim 8 wherein information as to an end time for the setback mode of operation is a period of time measured from the start time of the requested setback mode of operation and when said processor is operative to compute the end time relative to the start time by adding the period of time measured from said start time to the start time before proceeding to enter into the requested setback mode of operation when the present time of day is within the range of the start time and the end time for the requested mode of operation.
10. The thermostat of claim 8 wherein said processor is operative to add the computed amount of time the thermostat participated in the requested setback mode of operation to the sum of any previously computed amounts of time the thermostat participated in requested setback modes of operation so as to produce a total accumulated time.
11. The thermostat of claim 10 wherein said processor is furthermore operative to respond to a request for the total accumulated time from a remotely located entity whereby the total accumulated time is transmitted to the remotely located entity.
12. The thermostat of claim 11 wherein said processor is furthermore operative to respond to a request by the remotely located entity to initialize the total accumulated time whereby the total accumulated time is set equal to zero.
13. The thermostat of claim 12 wherein said processor is furthermore operative to read the time of day following the response to the request to initialize the total accumulated time in the event the thermostat is in a requested setback mode of operation; said processor being still furthermore operative to compute the amount of time the thermostat participated in the setback mode of operation following the termination of the requested setback mode of operation, the computed time being a function of the read time of day following the response to the request to initialize the accumulated time and the time of day when the requested setback mode is terminated.
14. The thermostat of claim 10 wherein said processor is furthermore operative to respond to a request by the remotely located entity to initialize the total accumulated time whereby the total accumulated time is set equal to zero.
15. The thermostat of claim 14 wherein said processor is furthermore operative to read the time of day following the response to the request to initialize the total accumulated time in the event the thermostat is in a requested setback mode of operation; said processor being still furthermore operative to compute the amount of time the thermostat participated in the setback mode of operation following the termination of the requested setback mode of operation, the computed time being a function of the read time of day following the response to the request to initialize the accumulated time and the time of day when the requested setback mode is terminated.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to thermostats having the capability of tracking, recording, and reporting setback information to a remotely located entity.

Thermostats have heretofore received and implemented adjustments to locally programmed setpoints in response to receiving setpoint information from a remotely located source such as an energy provider. An example of such a thermostat is disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/456,355 entitled “Communicating Thermostat”. The aforementioned thermostat implements the adjustments to the locally programmed setpoints at such time as the adjustments are scheduled to begin.

The above described thermostat could potentially fail to initiate the adjustments to the locally programmed setpoints if the setpoint information is not timely received. In this regard, the time at which the adjustments were scheduled to start could have already passed. This could happen if there are any unforeseen delays at the energy provider's end in initially transmitting the setpoint information. This could also happen if there is any disruption or delay in the communication link to the thermostat. Such a delay may, for instance, occur if the energy provider is communicating to the thermostat over a phone line that is not dedicated to the thermostat. In this latter case, the phone line could be tied up for long periods of time on other matters.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide a thermostat with the capability of partially implementing any setback or curtailment request of locally entered setpoints in the event of a delay in the transmission or receipt of the setback or curtailment request.

The above and other objects are achieved by a thermostat having a transceiver associated therewith for receiving setback or curtailment information relative to locally programmed setpoints from a remotely located source. The thermostat is operative to store the information which preferably includes an offset to the currently programmed setpoint as well as a start time for any setback period of operation as well as the length of the setback period. The thermostat is thereafter operative to implement the requested setback at the setback start time or any time thereafter that the setback information is first processed. The thermostat tracks the time during which the thermostat is in the requested setback mode of operation. This tracking of the time includes noting any override of the requested setback which would prematurely terminate the period during which the setback mode of operation is in effect.

The thermostat is moreover operative to maintain a record of previous setback modes of operation implemented by the thermostat whether or not terminated prematurely by an override. The record of the current mode of setback operation as well as any previous setback modes of operation is stored for retrieval by the remotely located entity, which is usually an energy provider seeking an accurate record of actual setback operation of the thermostat. This time record is available at any time, including a time when the thermostat is in a setback mode of operation. The thermostat also preferably allows the requester to clear the accumulated time record or simply read the time record without clearing. In either case, the thermostat preferably continues to track any time during which the thermostat is in a setback mode of operation. This includes the tracking of any remaining time in a current setback mode of operation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a filler understanding of the present invention, reference should now be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a thermostat and transceiver, wherein the transceiver is in communication with a remotely located device (not shown) so as to thereby receive and/or transmit information to the remotely located device;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of elements within the thermostat including a microprocessor that is responsive to signals from the transceiver;

FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C are a flowchart of the program implemented by the processor of FIG. 2 so as to respond to communications from the transceiver; and

FIG. 4 is a flowchart of a sub-routine within the program of FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a thermostat 10 is operatively connected to a transceiver 12 via a communication line 14 so as to receive or transmit information to the transceiver 12. The transceiver 12 provides a communication link between the thermostat 10 and a remotely located device (not shown), which provides setpoint control information to the thermostat 10. The remotely located device is preferably controlled by an energy provider seeking to provide cost effective setpoint control information to the thermostat 10.

The thermostat preferably causes messages to be displayed on a display 16 in response to receipt of information from the remotely located device that is preferably controlled by an energy provider. This includes the display of a message that the thermostat is in a setback mode of operation wherein the locally entered setpoint has been adjusted or altered in response to a request from the remotely located device preferably controlled by an energy provider. A touch sensitive button 18 on the front panel of the thermostat can be depressed any time one wishes to override the setback mode of operation.

Referring to FIG. 2, the touch-sensitive button 18 is illustrated as a switch connected to a microprocessor 20 which is in turn connected to the display 16. The microprocessor 20 is also connected to a temperature sensor 22 and a memory 24. The microprocessor normally executes one or more control programs stored in memory 24, which monitor any variation of the temperature indicated by the sensor 22 with respect to one or more locally entered setpoints preferably stored in the memory 24. These control programs cause the microprocessor to control an HVAC system 26 through relay logic 28 so as to thereby heat or cool the space in which the thermostat is located as necessary.

The microprocessor 20 also executes a program stored in memory 24, which processes information received from the transceiver 12 via the line 14. This latter program, when executed by the microprocessor, will preferably implement adjustments to the locally entered setpoints that have been stored in the memory 24. It is, however, to be noted that this program may simply replace the locally entered setpoints without departing from the invention. The microprocessor will thereafter execute the one or more control programs stored in the memory 24 so as to monitor any variation of the temperature indicated by the temperature sensor 22 with respect to the now modified ore replaced setpoints. The program will furthermore cause the microprocessor to track and maintain an accurate record of the amount of time during which the thermostat remains in this setback or curtailment mode of operation. The program processor will moreover maintain any record of any past setback or curtailment modes of operation so as to thereby provide an accurate record of setback usage upon receipt of a request from the energy provider.

Referring to FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C, a flowchart of the steps executed by the microprocessor 20 in response to receipt of information concerning setback or curtailment of locally entered setpoints is illustrated. As has been previously discussed, the microprocessor will receive this information from the transceiver 12 via the line 14. The flowchart begins with a step 30 wherein certain variables used by the program are initialized. These include SB_TIMER, SB_ACTIVE, SETBACK_RECORD and SB_TOTAL. The microprocessor proceeds from a step 30 to a step 32 and inquires as to whether SB_ACTIVE is equal to one. Since this variable will have been initially set equal to zero, the microprocessor would proceed to a step 34 and inquire as to whether the SETBACK_RECORD equals zero. It is to be appreciated that the microprocessor 20 will independently of the program illustrated in FIG. 3, respond to a communication passed along by the transceiver 12 regarding any setback of the setpoint that may be requested by the energy provider. SETBACK_RECORD will be set equal to one when this occurs. The processor will furthermore store information pertaining to the requested setback in the memory 24. This information will preferably include values for the following variables: SB_SETPOINTOFFSET, SB_STARTTIME, and SB_PERIOD. SB_SETPOINTOFFSET is the amount by which the locally setpoints are to be adjusted whereas SB_STARTTIME is the preferred time in which the setback of the setpoints is to begin. SB_PERIOD is the amount of time during which the particular setback mode of operation is to occur. Assuming a setback request has been received and stored in the memory, the processor will proceed along a yes path to a step 36 and store the values for SB_SETPOINTOFFSET, SB_STARTTME and SB_PERIOD. The processor will proceed to a step 38 and compute the value of SB_ENDTIME, which is the sum of SB_STARTTIME plus SB_PERIOD.

The processor will next proceed to a step 40 and inquire as to whether the value of SB_ENDTIME is greater than TOTAL_TIME_ONE_DAY. In this regard, it is to be noted that the SB_ENDTIME value computed in step 38 can potentially be greater than the total time of day if, for instance, SB_STARTTIME is close to the end of a particular day. It is to be appreciated that TOTAL_TIME_ONE_DAY will be an amount of time expressed in increments of time similar to that used to define SB_STARTTIME. This may, for instance, be total minutes in a day or whatever unit of time is used in the particular embodiment. In the event that SB_ENDTIME is greater than the TOTAL_TIME_ONE_DAY, the processor will proceed to step 42 and subtract TOTAL_TIME_ONE_DAY from SB_ENDTIME. The processor will proceed either from step 42 or from step 40 to a step 44 and read the “TIME_OF_DAY”. This is preferably read from an internal system clock within the microprocessor, which tracks time by at least the total number of minutes in a twenty-four hour day. The processor proceeds from step 44 to step 46 and inquires as to whether the TIME_OF_DAY read in step 44 is between SB_STARTTIME and SB_ENDTIME. It is to be appreciated that this particular comparison may require some additional computation to account for the SB_ENDTIME occurring during a day following the day in which the SB_STARTTIME is defined. In this particular case, the time of day would first have to be examined as to whether it is in the latter part of a given day or the early part of a second day. Depending on the answer to the above, the time of day would either be compared with only SB_STARTTIME or SB_ENDTIME so as to account for the setback occurring over two days.

Assuming that the time of day is not between SB_STARTTIME and SB_ENDTIME, the processor will proceed along a no path out of step 46 to a step 48 and read the currently stored values of heat setpoint, Th and cool setpoint, Tc. The microprocessor will thereafter proceed to step 50 and read the temperature sensor 22 and thereafter control the HVAC system 26 to either Th or Tc. It is to be appreciated that such control is defined by a separate control program, which reads the temperature sensor 22 and thereafter controls the HVAC system 26 so as to either achieve the heat setpoint Th or the cool setpoint Tc. It is to be appreciated that the setpoint which is used will depend on the HVAC system. If the HVAC system is, for example, a reversible heat pump, then the mode of operation of the heat pump will determine whether Th or Tc is used. The processor will proceed to step 52 and display a message on the display 16 that the thermostat is in a “normal” mode of operation. The processor will proceed from step 52 through a junction A to a step 54 and inquire as to whether or not a request has been received for a report on setback usage by the thermostat. It is to be understood that such a request would normally be initiated by the energy provider and stored in the memory 24 for inquiry by the microprocessor in step 54. Assuming that no such setback usage has occurred, the processor will proceed along the no path to a step 56 and inquire as to whether a communication has been received from the energy provider requesting that setback usage be initialized. Assuming that such an initialization has not been requested, the processor will proceed along the no path to junction B and return to step 32.

Since the value of SB_ACTIVE is still zero, the processor will proceed through steps 34-46, as has been previously discussed. Assuming that the read time of day in step 44 now lies between SB_STARTTIME and SB_ENDTIME, the processor will proceed along the yes path out of step 46 to a step 58. Referring to step 58, the processor will first set the variable SB_ACTIVE equal to one. The processor will also set a variable Δ equal to SB_SETPOINTOFFSET. The processor will still furthermore compute the value of a variable “t” as being equal to SB_ENDTIME minus TIME_OF_DAY. The processor may again need to account for any transition between one day and the next when doing this computation. In this regard, SB_ENDTIME would need to be adjusted by TOTAL_TIME_ONE_DAY in the event that TIME_OF_DAY is near the end of one day and SB_ENDTIME occurs the next day.

The final computation within step 58 is to set SB_INITIAL_START equal to the value of TIME_OF_DAY. The processor will proceed to step 60 and set a software timer SB_TIMER equal to “t” and initiate a decrementing of the software timer. The processor will next proceed from step 60 to a step 62 and read the locally entered setpoints Th and Tc from memory 24. The processor will next proceed to a step 64 and adjust the values of Th and Tc by the value of Δ. This will effectively lower the heat setpoint Th by the amount of Δ and raise the cool setpoint Tc by the amount Δ. The processor will proceed to step 66 and read the temperature sensor 22 and control the HVAC system 26 in accordance with either T′h or T′c as computed in step 64. In this manner, the HVAC control system will now be controlling the HVAC system to a lower heat setpoint or to a higher cool setpoint so as to thereby produce an incremental savings of energy costs. The processor will proceed to a step 68 and display the current value of SB_TIMER and a message indicating that the thermostat is in a curtailment or setback mode of operation. The processor will proceed through steps 54 and 56 in the event that neither setback usage or an initialization of setback usage have been requested by the energy provider.

The processor will again return to step 32 and inquire as to whether SB_ACTIVE is equal to one. Since SB_ACTIVE will have been set equal to one in step 58, the processor will proceed along the yes path to a step 70 and inquire as to whether the software time, SB_TIMER, has been decremented to zero. Assuming that the SB_TIMER is not equal to zero, the processor will proceed to a step 72 and inquire as to whether the override button 18 has been depressed. Assuming that the override button 18 has not been depressed, the processor will proceed to a step 74 and inquire as whether either the locally entered heat setpoint “Th” or the locally entered cool setpoint “Tc” has changed between successive executions of the logic of FIG. 3. This is preferably accomplished by comparing the time of day with any user programmed setpoint change times in memory 24. If the time of day is within a very small predefined range of a programed setpoint change time in memory 24, then the values of the new locally entered setpoints for the particular change time are read and stored as Th and Tc. The processor will then proceed to step 64 and adjust the new locally entered setpoints T′h and T′h.

The processor will proceed either from step 74 or step 64 to step 66 and implement the control of the HVAC system 26, as has been previously described. The display will be updated in accordance with step 68 before proceeding through steps 54 and 56 in the event that setback usage has not been requested.

Referring again to step 32, the processor will again inquire as to whether SB_ACTIVE is equal to one. Since the thermostat is in a setback mode of operation, the processor will again proceed to step 70 and inquire as to whether the SB_TIMER equals zero. Assuming that SB_TMER has now been decremented to zero, the processor will proceed along the yes path to a step 76 and set SB_ACTIVE equal to zero. The processor will proceed to a step 78 and initiate a sub-routine entitled “COMPUTE_SETBACK_PARTICIPATION”. This particular sub-routine is illustrated in FIG. 4.

Referring to FIG. 4, the COMPUTE_SETBACK_PARTICIPATION sub-routine begins with a step 80 wherein the current time of day is read as well as the value of the variables SB_INITIAL_START and SB_TOTAL. It will be remembered that the value of SB_INITIAL_START will have been computed in step 58 to be equal to the TIME_OF_DAY read in step 44 when the thermostat enters a setback mode of operation. SB_TOTAL, on the other hand, will initially be equal to zero as required in step 30.

The processor proceeds from step 80 to a step 82 and inquires as to whether the currently read TIME_OF_DAY is greater than SB_INITIAL_START. In the event that the currently read TIME_OF_DAY is greater than SB_INITIAL_START, the processor will proceed along the yes path to a step 84 and compute the value of a variable denoted as SB_CURRENT. Referring to step 84, SB_CURRENT is equal to the TIME_OF_DAY as read in step 80 minus the value of SB_INITIAL_START. It is to be appreciated that this computation should yield the current amount of setback time that has expired since SB_ACTIVE was set equal to one in step 58. It is furthermore to be appreciated that SB_INITIAL_START may not necessarily be the same as SB_STARTIME since SB_STARTTIME is only used to determine whether or not to proceed to step 58 and begin a setback type of operation. Referring again to step 82, in the event that the TIME_OF_DAY is not greater than SB_INTLAL_START, then the processor will proceed along the no path and compute the value of the SB_CURRENT variable in another manner. Specifically, SB_CURRENT will be equal to the value of TOTAL_TIME_ONE_DAY plus TIME_OF_DAY minus SB_INITAL_START. In this regard, the value of the variable TOTAL_TIME_ONE_DAY is the total amount of time in a given day expressed in terms of total number of minutes in the day or whatever unit of time is used in the particular embodiment. It is to be appreciated that the computation of SB_CURRENT in step 86 is necessary in the event that a transition has occurred from one day to the next following the time indicated by SB_INITIAL_START.

Referring now to step 88, the value of the variable SB_TOTAL is computed as a function of the determined value of SB_CURRENT out of either steps 84 or 86. SB_TOTAL is seen to be equal to the sum of any previous value of SB_TOTAL plus the value of SB_CURRENT. Since SB_TOTAL was initially set equal to zero in step 30, the value of SB_TOTAL, as first computed in step 88, should merely be the value of SB_CURRENT. It is, however, to be understood that if there have been previous setback modes of operation of the thermostat, then the value of SB_TOTAL out of step 88 will be equal to the previously determined SB_TOTAL plus SB_CURRENT. The processor proceeds from the computation of SB_TOTAL in step 88 to step 90 wherein inquiry is made as to whether SB_TOTAL is greater an MAX_SB_VALUE. MAX_SB_VALUE is preferably a value set by the energy provider as the maximum setback usage amount that may be claimed by the user of the thermostat during any one particular billing. This value may be hard coded into the software or it may be admitted to the thermostat at any point in time and stored in the memory 24 for use when step 90 is encountered. In the event that the SB_TOTAL exceeds MAX_SB_VALUE, the processor proceeds to step 92 and sets SB_TOTAL equal to MAX_SB_VALUE. Otherwise, the microprocessor proceeds along the no path out of step 90 to return step 94. The processor proceeds out of the sub-routine of FIG. 4 back to step 78 wherein the processor proceeds to step 96 and sets SETBACK_RECORD equal to zero.

The processor proceeds from step 96 to stop 48 wherein the locally programed setpoints Th and Tc are read before proceeding to step 50 to control the HVAC system in accordance with the appropriate locally entered setpoint Th or Tc. In this regard, the processor will have left the setback mode of operation and will now be using normal local unit setpoints to control the HVAC system. The processor will proceed through steps 52, 54, and 56, as has been previously described, before returning to step 32. Since SB_ACTIVE will have been previously set equal to zero in step 76, the processor will proceed along no path out of step 32 to inquire as to whether SETBACK_RECORD equals one. If it does not, the microprocessor will proceed along the no path to step 48 and again execute steps 48-56, as has been previously described.

Referring again to step 34, in the event that SETBACK_RECORD is equal to one at some point, then the processor will again read the values of SB_SETPOINTOFFSET, SB_STARTTIME, and SB_PERIOD from the memory 24 in step 36. The processor will next proceed through steps 36-46 to determine whether the current TIME_OF_DAY is between the SB_STARTIME and the determined SB_ENDTIME. Assihg ta at some point TIME_OF_D)AY is between these times, the processor will proceed through steps 58-68 and hence through 54-56 as has been previously discussed. The processor will, on the next execution of the logic of FIG. 3, proceed back through step 32 and now exit along the yes path to step 70. Assuming that the SB_TIMER is not equal to zero, the processor will proceed to a step 72 and inquire whether the override button 18 has been depressed. It will be remembered that the override button 18 will have been depressed in the event that the user wishes to override the setback mode of operation, as displayed on the display 16. If this occurs, the processor will proceed along the yes path out of step 72 and set SB_TIMER equal to zero in a step 96. The processor will proceed to set SB_ACTIVE equal to zero in step 76 before proceeding in step 78 to the sub-routine for computing setback participation of FIG. 4.

Referring to FIG. 4, the current TIME_OF_DAY as well as the values of SB_INITIAL_START and SB_TOTAL will be read in step 80. Inquiry will next be made as to whether the TIME_OF_DAY is greater than SB_INITIAL_START and the appropriate computation of SB_CURRENT thereafter will be made in either step 84 or 86. The value of SB_TOTAL will again be computed in step 88. Since the processor has previously computed a value of SB_TOTAL, the computation in step 88 will be the previous value of SB_TOTAL plus the computed value of SB_CURRENT in either step 84 or 86. The thus computed value of SB_TOTAL will be compared to MAX_SB_VALUE in step 90 and appropriately capped in step 92, if necessary. The processor will proceed to return to step 78 and thereafter proceed through steps 96 and 48-54. Assuring that a setback usage request has not been received in step 54, the processor will proceed through steps 54 and 56 and return to step 32, as has been previously discussed.

Referring again to step 32, it is to be appreciated that at some point in time during the successive executions of the logic of FIG. 3, another SETBACK_RECORD flag equal to one may occur. When this happens, SB_SETPOINTOFFSET and SB_STARTTIME and SB_PERIOD will again be read from the memory 24 in step 34. At some point the TIME_OF_DAY will again be between the SB_STARTTIME and the computed SB_ENDTIME. The processor will now enter into a setback mode of operation by setting SB_ACTIVE equal to one in step 58. The processor will proceed through steps 60-68, as has been previously described, before encountering step 54. Assuming that a setback usage request has been made and stored in the memory 24, the processor will proceed out of step 54 to step 98 and clear the thus stored setback usage request in memory 24. The processor will proceed to step 100 and implement the setback participation s ub-routine of FIG. 4. As has been previously discussed, the TIME_OF_DAY will be read and compared with SB_INITIAL_START before computing the value of SB_CURRENT in either step 84 or 86. The processor will proceed in step 88 to compute the value of SB_TOTAL. The thus computed value of SB_TOTAL will be clamped at MAX_SB_VALUE, if necessary, in step 92 before returning to step 800. The processor will proceed from step 100 to step 102 wherein a message will be sent to the transceiver 12, which will in turn communicate with the energy provider's receiving device. The message will include the value of SB_TOTAL. The processor will next proceed to step 104 and inquire as to whether SB_ACTIVE is equal to zero. It will be re membered that the request for setback usage was encountered during a time in which the setback mode of operation was in effect. SB_ACTIVE would hence still be equal to one prompting the processor to proceed from step 104 to step 106. Referring to step 106, the variable SB_INITIAL_START will be set equal to the currently read time of day from the system clock. This will, essentially, set a new SB_INITIAL_START that is equal to the presently read TIME_OF_DAY. The processor will proceed from step 106 to step 56.

Referring to step 56, it is to be noted that this step may also be encountered out of step 104. The processor will have proceeded out of step 104 to step 56 in the event that the thermostat was no longer in a setback mode of operation, as indicated by SB_ACTIVE being equal to zero. The processor will proceed to inquire in step 56 as to whether an initialization of setback usage request has been received and stored in the memory 24. This particular request message will possibly be transmitted by the energy provider when the energy provider wishes to start the computation of SB_TOTAL all over again from zero. If this message has been received, then the processor will proceed along the yes path to a step 108 and clear the initial setback usage request stored in memory 24. The processor will then proceed to step 110 and set SB_TOTAL equal to zero. The processor will proceed from step 110 through junction B back to step 32. Referring again to step 56, in the event that a request to initialize the setback usage has not been received, the processor will proceed directly to step 32. It is thus to be appreciated that the processor may have sent a message to the energy provider in step 102 without initializing SB_TOTAL if the processor has not received the initialized setback usage request. On the other hand, if the processor has received the initialized setback usage request, then the SB_TOTAL will be set equal to zero in step 110.

Referring again to step 32, inquiry is made as to whether SB_ACTIVE is equal to one. It is to be appreciated that SB_ACTIVE may either be one or zero after having processed a usage request through steps 98-110. Assuming that SB_ACTIVE is still equal to one, then the processor will proceed along the yes path to step 70 and inquire as to whether SB_TIMER equals zero. It will be remembered that SB_TIMER has been continually decrementing towards zero since having been initially set equal to “t” in step 60. This decrementing of the SB_TIMER will occur regardless of whether or not a setback usage request has been processed in steps 98-100. At some point, the SB_TIMER will be decremented to zero when step 70 is encountered. When this occurs, the processor will proceed along the yes path to step 76 and set SB_ACTIVE equal to zero before implementing the computation of setback participation in step 78. Referring to the sub-routine for computing setback computation in FIG. 4, the processor will again read the TIME_OF_DAY as well as the values of SB_INITIAL_START and SB_TOTAL. It will be remembered that SB_INITIAL_START will have been set equal to the TIME_OF_DAY occurring when step 106 is executed. This will be a different SB_INITLAL_START than would have been normally carried by the processor as a result of implementing step 58. In other words, SB_INITIAL_START will now be whatever TIME_OF_DAY it was when the setback usage request was processed. The processor will proceed to inquire whether or not the read time of day in step 80 in greater than the value of SB_INITIAL_START in step 82. As has been previously discussed, SB_CURRENT will be computed out of step 82 in either step 84 or 86. SB_TOTAL will now be computed in step 88. Referring to steps 98-110, it will be appreciated that the previous value of SB_TOTAL will either be whatever has been computed previously during previous executions of the logic or SB_TOTAL will have been previously set equal to zero in step 110. In this latter case, SB_TOTAL will be equal to zero in step 110 as a result of a received message from the energy provider to initialize the setback usage out of step 56. It is hence to be appreciated that SB_TOTAL as computed in step 88 will either be a continuing accumulation of previous SB_TOTAL values in conjunction with the SB_CURRENT value or it will be a new SB_TOTAL starting from an SB_TOTAL of zero. It is to be furthermore appreciated that any subsequent computation of SB_TOTAL in step 88 will include any remaining portion of a setback mode of operation that continues in effect. This will occur even if the SB_TOTAL is cleared in step 110 as a result of also having received a request to initialize the setback usage.

It is to be appreciated that a preferred embodiment of a program for tracking and reporting setback usage has been disclosed. Alternations and modifications to the thus disclosed program may occur without departing from the scope of the invention. In particular, the processor may, for instance, receive different setpoint offsets for heating and cooling. In this event, the adjustments to the current heating and cooling setpoints would be with respect to the particularly computed offsets for each setpoint rather than the currently disclosed single SB_SETPOINTOFFSET. It is also to be appreciated that the approach to adjusting current heating and cooling setpoints by setpoint offsets need not occur to practice the invention. In this regard, setpoint offsets could be replaced by setpoints communicated by the energy provider. In this latter case, there would be no need for logic implementing adjustments to Th or Tc. It is furthermore to be appreciated that the SB_TIMER may be initially set up differently so as to not be a decrementing timer from a particular time “t”. For instance, the timer may be incremented from zero at the initialization of a setback mode would work equally well.

Accordingly, the foregoing description of a preferred embodiment is by way of example only and the invention is to be limited by the following and equivalents thereto.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5419489 *Jan 18, 1994May 30, 1995Burd; Alexander L.Mobile thermostat to control space temperature in the building
US5462225 *Feb 4, 1994Oct 31, 1995Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.Apparatus and method for controlling distribution of electrical energy to a space conditioning load
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6634566Feb 12, 2002Oct 21, 2003Carrier CorporationAdvanced setback reporting thermostat
US7163158Dec 13, 2005Jan 16, 2007Comverge, Inc.HVAC communication system
US7528503Jul 24, 2006May 5, 2009Cannon Technologies, Inc.Load shedding control for cycled or variable load appliances
US7595567Jun 8, 2007Sep 29, 2009Cannon Technologies/Cooper PowerThermostat device with line under frequency detection and load shedding capability
US7604046 *Sep 15, 2006Oct 20, 2009Honeywell International Inc.Controller interface with multiple day programming
US7606639Sep 6, 2006Oct 20, 2009Comverge, Inc.Local power consumption load control
US7702424Oct 30, 2007Apr 20, 2010Cannon Technologies, Inc.Utility load control management communications protocol
US7778737Sep 6, 2006Aug 17, 2010Comverge, Inc.Method and system for local load control
US7869904Mar 24, 2010Jan 11, 2011Cooper Technologies CompanyUtility load control management communications protocol
US7890195Feb 4, 2010Feb 15, 2011Honeywell International Inc.Controller interface with multiple day programming
US8185245Jan 22, 2010May 22, 2012Honeywell International Inc.HVAC control with utility time of day pricing support
US8204628Mar 24, 2010Jun 19, 2012Honeywell International Inc.Setpoint recovery with utility time of day pricing
US8244383Dec 27, 2010Aug 14, 2012Honeywell International Inc.Controller interface with multiple day programming
US8326466Jan 22, 2010Dec 4, 2012Honeywell International Inc.HVAC control with utility time of day pricing support
US8538586Jan 22, 2010Sep 17, 2013Honeywell International Inc.HVAC control with utility time of day pricing support
Classifications
U.S. Classification236/47, 165/238, 236/94
International ClassificationG05D23/19
Cooperative ClassificationG05D23/1902, F24F2011/0061
European ClassificationG05D23/19B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 6, 2013FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
Mar 20, 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Mar 29, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Nov 8, 2000ASAssignment
Owner name: CARRIER CORPORATION, CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PROFFITT, JERRY L.;ARCHACKI, RAYMOND J. JR.;REEL/FRAME:011329/0210
Effective date: 20001023
Owner name: CARRIER CORPORATION INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEPARTME